Our people are important. No one knows this better than our VP of Human Resources, Nicole Thor. As a VP of People, requirements are greater than schooling and experience. In addition, this leader needs to be an expert in empathy and put her team first. See exactly what it takes as Nicole gives us the exclusive on her everyday routine.
My day starts when I begrudgingly roll out of bed after pressing snooze a few times (I'm not a morning person). No morning exercise for me. Instead, I begin my day with a huge cup of iced coffee before getting into the shower.
I play with my cats - all four of them. Depending on the morning, I might make a smoothie (but usually breakfast is just more coffee). I check my Outlook calendar to see which meetings I have for the day; this helps me determine if I need to be camera ready. I opt to be camera-ready regardless. Finally, I do my five-minute morning meditation and set the intention for the day.
The workday starts. I catch up on e-mails from the night before and add anything that needs attention to the to-do list I created for the day. Responding to e-mails typically takes up the first half-hour of my morning. Once e-mails have been sorted, I start in on my to-do list which includes a variety of HR-related tasks. I know every day is different and I may be pulled away from these at any time.
I have my first call of the day. This is usually a 1:1 with someone on my team, a meeting with an employee, or connecting with a vendor. Occasionally I have an earlier call, but I prefer to reserve the early morning for e-mail and planning.
Meetings continue. Oftentimes my meetings are impromptu calls with leaders or employees who need HR support or guidance regarding a business objective or challenge that needs to be worked through.
I may have a break in calls so I can get back to my to-do list. I try to spend a little time working on strategic initiatives each day (if I’m lucky). This ranges from Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives to employee benefit initiatives. I’m always prepared to drop what I’m working on when anything pressing pops up. By now, at least one of my cats has interrupted me by walking across my desk or jumping into my lap, they provide the best distraction.
I may have an opportunity to eat something for lunch, but it's usually wildly unhealthy because it’s convenient and I’m terrible at meal prep. I refill my coffee around this time (although sometimes I really make an effort to switch to water)... I’m filtering through e-mails, carefully dropping anything that needs attention into a folder so it doesn’t get lost in my inbox.
The meetings pick back up. I may have a call with a benefits carrier to discuss programs that will enhance our current offerings or with Operations leaders to discuss program objectives. It varies day to day. My favorite meetings are the ones I have with my team where we brainstorm ideas to improve the employee experience.
I pick up where I left off with my to-do list if I have a break in meetings. Depending on which activities HR has going on I may run reporting to check progress on performance reviews, check the Compliance Dashboard, update an SOP, or review HR metrics in ADP. By now I may have an item or two crossed off the list for the day.
There may be another call or two and if not, I spend some time going through e-mail and responding to any that I’ve flagged for action or follow-up.
I review my productivity for the day and move any tasks I didn’t complete to another day in the week. I spend some time planning out the following day, so I’m prepared to start fresh in the morning. Truly, I would be lost without my planner.
I have dinner with my family. I often have to fend for myself as the only vegetarian living with four meat-eaters. For dinner, I try to eat a bit healthier and have a bowl of soup or pasta.
I attempt to get my teenage sons to talk with me about their days (but this is like pulling teeth so I end up spending more time with the cats). My husband and I will chat about our days and if it’s not too hot outside we will take a short walk around the neighborhood.
I crave some solitude to recharge before bedtime so I spend some time getting steps in on my mini stair stepper. Honestly, I’m lucky if I take 1,000 steps in an entire day. As a night owl, it takes me a while to get ready for bed. I have a glass of wine and watch Netflix or read a book. Currently, I’m reading “The Book of Cold Cases” by Simone St. James.
I always end my day with gratitude before falling asleep, sometime around 11:00 pm.
And with that, Nicole wraps up her day. Join us again next time to shadow the days of other Salelytics executives!